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“Even better after the renovation”
Review of The Surin Phuket

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The Surin Phuket
Ranked #2 of 34 Hotels in Choeng Thale
Certificate of Excellence
Alicante, Spain
Level Contributor
89 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Even better after the renovation”
Reviewed 6 March 2012

The recent renovation shut this excellent resort down for several months. Across the board they have improved on an already great resort.
We were invited to a wedding here and it was excellent. If you are invited to an event here, it's much better to stay onsite rather than cheaper alternatives near by. Not only will it save you a lot of very steep walks, but the level of service and quality is worth the extra investment.

The improvements to the restaurants and cottages is noticeably better and the food and drink available is now even better than before.

The staff are still mostly fantastic and are trained to a very high standard, in particular the Event Planner, Khun Bat, is excellent and deals with challenges with a smile and professionalism.

Overall still the best place in Phuket for R&R.

Room Tip: If you don't like stairs, try and get a room starting with 3, rather than 1 or 2.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Boston
Level Contributor
77 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2012

This hotel is a little gem on one of the quieter coastlines you'll find in the Phuket area. The beach isn't crowded, and is shared only by the Amanpui resort next door. The staff was friendly, and the food was quite good in their restaurant (especially the brunch buffet).

We were a bit surprised to find it so full of families. Lots of little kids joining mom and dad for a break (especially French families). But they were all well behaved and didn't cause any disruption at all.

One of our favorite things here were actually services rendered by families on the beach, that are not connected to the hotel. There is a group that operates a small business at the end of the beach, selling drinks for a pretty cheap rate. At first we thought there's no way the hotel would let this go on..but they do...and the family can be trusted for great service and prices.

There is also a group of women offering massage services for about 400 baht on the beach. Great deal!

Room was always clean, service attentive, and incredibly scenic. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank EETravelfortwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMTHESURINPHUKET, General Manager at The Surin Phuket, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Dear EETravelfortwo,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review of The Surin Phuket.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon to our beautiful beachside retreat.

Warm regards,

Antonio & The Surin Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Location, location, location. Hotel is ideally situated on a quiet beach. The location is the primary reason to stay at the Surin, because the service is nothing special. We felt the best service came from the beach restuarant at the end of the beach (not affiliated with The Surin Resort). Their staff will at least walk the beach and offer drinks while you are lounging, while the Surin will not. We were on a first name basis with the beach restaurant waitress by the end of our trip.

If you book a hillside bungalow, be prepared to walk the steps. We are in good physical shape, and still found ourselves sweaty and breathless by the time we reached our room. Our room was on the lower level of hillside bungalows, so forget about staying at the top.

I would recommend it for the location only. Everything else at the resort is so-so.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TCUlonghorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMTHESURINPHUKET, General Manager at The Surin Phuket, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Dear TCUlonghorn,

Thank you for your review. Sadly we have not impressed you for what is one of our hallmarks, excellent service. We make treasure of your comment and will share it with the team who I am sure will promptly react to make it right.
We have a very friendly relationship with the local restaurant and indeed we let them service our guests. We have a beach bar serving refreshments all day and our team of beach boys is there to help with water sports, sun bed and towels. We intentionally let the local vendor make his living with our guests. Same goes with the massage ladies operating on our beach. We could provide that service too but in the spirit of good relationships with the local community we have allowed them to come to our resort since a long time.

We look forward to welcoming you back to The Surin Phuket.

Warm regards,

Antonio & The Surin Phuket team
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Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

This hotel provides several Wow-moments. The location and the setup with single cottages is still outstanding. Arriving at the front desk, you already gather a glimpse of the sea and get an impression of the delightful location.

There are beach houses directly located at the beach front and cottages on the lower hillside (superior cottage). The lowest categories of rooms, hillside cottages, are located at the upper hillside. Some of those rooms however do not even provide sea views and it takes quite some steps down to the beach. Hence, those rooms do not provide the special wow-moments you experience in the superior or beach cottages - think of waking up in the morning and having a great view on the sea, right out of your bed - gorgeous! This is why the superior cottages are our first choice.
Guests who have been to this hotel under the former Chedi-owner might wonder about the refurbishments of the cottages. At least we did. What was wrong with the teak?! From my point of view the teak interiours made the appearance more classy and surely more distinctive than the flagging and grey painted wood which replaced the teak. Nevertheless, the cottages still are nice and beautiful.

Both, the beach and the sea are fantastic as well. On the landside, a hillside fences in the bay. The latter is only occupied by a five star plus hotel and the Surin (formerly known as The Chedi). Hence, the beach is still not that crowded.

Despite the fantastic location, nevertheless, quality declined notably since our last trip to this hotel two years ago (when it was under the Chedi-ownership).

While Phuket in general is the Tijuana/Mallorca kind of destination, this particular place has always been kind of a green spot in this regard. This has changed.

The hotel, formerly part of the Chedi-brand and under new ownership since last year, meanwhile attracts more and more of those Tijuana/Mallorca kind of guests, just with a few more dollars in their pokets. Hence, tacky, bad behaviour becomes an notably issue of this place, affecting the formerly relaxing atmosphere.
Booking sunbeds early in the morning, lighting up cigars right next to tables with kids having dinnner, showing up at breakfast barely appparelled and so on. As the new owner's management obviously was not able to implement an adequate policy, the staff in charge did not do anything about it.

As recent reviews suggested that the hotel does not provied enough sunbeds, we contacted the management before booking the hotel and asked for clarification. We were told that this problem will be solved until main season.
Well, this was absolutely not the case.
As booking sunbeds early in the morning obviously is common sense in this hotel now, literally each and every bed was blocked. Really classy hotels usually provide a sufficient number of sunbeds and have someone in charge to bring your towels to an available sunbed in order to prevent people from this tacky booking behaviour. The Surin does not.

The current managemt is either not willing to implement an adequate policy or it is not capable of taking care of such a policy. As a result, guest were arguing with each other on the beach about blocked or not blocked sunbeds, some had to be satisfied with a place by the pool. This really affected the atmosphere which actually was supposed to be relaxing.
Hence, we talked to the management about the issue that actually should has been already solved according to their own statement.
Well, the management again was at least badly informed (or even lying to us?) as they told us that there are enough sunbeds on the beach for all guest. The staff in charge, in contrast, mentioned that the hotel lacks more than 50 sunbeds. As the hotel was fully booked with about 200 guests, this means that some 25% of all guest were not able to enjoy a sunbed on the beach!

Additionally we were told that booking sunbeds is not welcome at the Surin and that a note will be delivered to clarify this policy. Well, it might not be even noteworthy that the management again failed to deliver.

Turning to service quality. The new owner only kept somewhat more than 50% of the former Chedi staff - and this shows up in service quality. I absolutely agree to other recent reviews in this regard.
There were waiter wearing sunglasses while serving food and drinks, some were cluelessly chit-chatting around instead of dealing with orders. Front desk staff on management level seriously recommended to leave the hotel for the airport only one hour before the plane is scheduled - fortunately we knew that it takes up to 30min by car from the hotel to the airport alone, as the airport typically is quite crowded, another 30min are not even nearly sufficient to pass check-in and immigration control.
Just some examples for clueless or dull service performances, notably more on upper management than on lower staff level.

To wrap it up, under the new ownership, the hotel loses its warm, welcoming attitude and its formerly delightful service quality. Most employees still are absolutely obliging but as some told us they are struggling with the vague policy of the new owner - and this is exactly what significantly affects the atmosphere at this hotel now.
The location is fantastic and the Chedi has been as well - unfortunately the new owner did not have a good start and his capability to bring back a high quality level remains to be seen.

Room Tip: Choose superior cottages (second category, located at the lower hillside) for a nice view or beach h...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank TMitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMTHESURINPHUKET, General Manager at The Surin Phuket, responded to this review, 8 March 2012
Dear TMitz,

Thank you very much for your extensive comments and feedback. I would like to sincerely apologize for not having met your expectations on this occasion.

We appreciate your comments to the new design which is the work of renowned architect and designer Ed Tuttle who originally designed The Chedi (now The Surin Phuket) and neighboring Amanpuri. Tuttle new design reflects a more contemporary expression of Thai beach houses and the change has been overwhelmingly well received by many of our returning as well as our new guests. Unfortunately we were unable to source the high quality of wood for the floors that was available years ago therefore we opted for the pearl granite finish. The Surin will see a second and final phase of renovations this year and will remain closed from 1st May to 15th July. During this time we plan to renovate the last set of rooms on the hillside, add a new Spa, a grand suite with private swimming pool and a kids’ corner.

Since the change of name our clientele has not changed and we are glad that the number or returning guests has actually grown beyond our expectations. It is unfortunate that perhaps you have noticed more guests which you did not identify with.

I would like to clarify that the actual ownership of the hotel has not changed and we have retained 75% of our Chedi team including almost the entire executive team and our most popular colleagues. I am continuously speaking to as many staff as possible and to my knowledge the team morale is very high and everyone seems to be enjoying the hard challenge of launching The Surin. The past few months have proved a very valuable learning curve for all of us and surely there is room for further improvements. In fact during the closing period we have set an intensive re-training schedule for all of our team.

With regards to the comment on the “reserving” sun beds, which we also had the opportunity to speak to you in person about, is a general practice that we do not encourage and recently we have been monitoring more closely trying to avoid that sun beds are left “booked” but unoccupied for long periods of time. As remarked in an earlier posting we do provide a sufficient amount of sun beds. We have invested in 100 new ones which are being delivered in lots every week. We also deliver service in providing towels, complimentary water and other free amenities during the day. A final note about the topic of sun beds, we reconsidered placing a notice not to book sun beds because after all it is not in general responsibility of the hotel to explain to guests such common housekeeping rule.

Rest assured that we have the same policies in place as previously and do advise guests on dress code, smoking in public areas and general accepted behavior within the resort if we see situations that need our intervention.

We hope to welcome you back when you return to Phuket and grant us with the opportunity to exceed all your expectations.

Warm regards,

Antonio Saponara & The Surin Team
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nebraska
Level Contributor
32 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

The Surin sits on what has to be one of the top beaches in the world. The beach is pure fine sand and the water is crystal clear and warm. The beach and water alone are enough to visit this resort, however, the resort has many shortcomings. First, even though this resort sits on a fantastic beach, the beach facilities fall far short. There aren't enough chairs for all the guests so unless you rise early in the morning, you likely will not get a spot on the beach. Second, even if you do get a spot on the beach, the shade provided is completely inadequate for those that don't want to end up lobster red. If you are fair skinned, bring plenty of sunscreen and be prepared to constantly move your chair to follow the bits of shade you can find. If you can stand full sun and the heat and humidity, you will not have any problems.

Our largest disappointment with this resort was the food service. Starting with the breakfast, although the food was good by any measure, there was never a place to sit which was quite frustrating. This resort knows how many people can stay at any given time, yet there is room for only a small percentage to fit in the breakfast area. Furthermore, having a server bring coffee or tea was always a hasle, let alone getting a refill.

I would not reccommend dining at any of the resorts restaurants. The servers did not have any familiarity with the menus, the food was average, and the service was atrocious. We tried to eat at the beach bar-b-que and made a reservation but when we arrived to dine, we were told we didn't have a reservation and that they didn't have any more room. To make matters worse, we requested the concierge to make us a reservation at a local restaurant and in the evening when we asked about it, we were told that no one ever called and the restaurant had already been booked up by the time we found out.

In short, if you want to experience a top beach, do go to The Surin, just don't expect top notch service.

Room Tip: Don't get a hillside unit.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank urofan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luxembourg
Level Contributor
71 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

We spent five nights in a Beach Deluxe Suite which is spacious and beautifully appointed and also includes an attractive sundeck and covered terrace.

The air-conditioning is rather noisy and not always well functioning. It appears that it wasn't part of the refurbishment. The in-room safe is also an ancient free standing piece on the floor.

Our main issue with the room was the tiny cubicle where the toilet was placed. The walls and sliding door are extremely close to the toilet and stains on the painted sliding door showed proof of some 'splashing' activity and the smell also hinted that it wasn't easy to keep clean.

The room has direct access to the gorgeous beach which is definitely one of the best we have seen in Asia. There was a shortage of beach chairs and it was required to get there early to reserve one.

The new gym located next to the pool is very appealing and well equipped.

The resort is very stylish, breakfast is very nice and the Lomtalay restaurant served some of the best Thai food we have ever had. We ended up having three dinners there.

Special dinner events, such as the beach BBQ, are very badly advertised. Only a small note is left in the room, which is very easy to miss. I really don't understand why they don't promote these events better, for instance at breakfast.

Unfortunately, the service is VERY inconsistent. The staff ranges from great to totally clueless. We were informed that only half of the Chedi staff has been allowed to stay and that shows. A lot of training is needed to bring the service level to a high standard expected from this kind of place. Quite disappointing considering the General Manager's background from Amanpuri.

Beach service is practically nonexistent. A fruit skewer was provided in the morning but that's it. Don't expect water, cold towels or anyone asking if you want something to drink or eat. The beach is basically served by the local vendors that actually do a very good job. Used towels remain for hours on abandoned beach chairs and no assistance is offered to move umbrellas and beds. The beach is set up in morning and only around 4 pm there is someone showing up to remove towels. I acknowledge that the hotel beach is very long and not easy to service but still.....

The hotel management team was invisible during our stay. Usually, the management shows some kind of interest in the well-being of their guests when staying in this kind of resort.

We had a very enjoyable stay but I honestly expect a more polished product with better service when paying EUR 600-700 per night.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jmalux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMTHESURINPHUKET, General Manager at The Surin Phuket, responded to this review, 26 February 2012
Dear Jmalux,
It is always disappointing when we don't score high marks with our guests. I would like to thank you for pointing out some issues with your stay at The Surin and please accept my sincere apologies. Your comments and suggestions are very much appreciated and will enable us to improve our services. I would like to touch on some of the comments: all staff from "The Chedi" have been retained but as it happens a number of them have taken other career paths, however we are glad that most of the core team who I had the pleasure to work with during the times of The Chedi are still in our team; we are strict when it comes to hiring new team members and continuous improvement and training is paramount in our organization; all air con of the renovated rooms have been replace last year during the renovation work; the issue with the toilet smell was unknown to us till recently when we realized that there was a issue with plumbing that might have affected your room, and our housekeepers have been briefed with regard to cleaning; I admit that we have had difficulties with providing a full team at our beach during the first half of February but we are relieved that the full team is back on. On the subject of sun beds I would like to reassure you that we provide sufficient number of sun beds however these might seem not enough due to the annoying practice of "reserving" sun beds which eventually remain unutilized for hours. We do not encourage nor support this practice.
I am very sorry that neither myself of other senior managers have had the pleasure of meeting you during your stay. We try to greet as many guests as possible and hope to have the opportunity to meet you in person during your next visit when we hope to exceed your expectations.

Warm regards,

Antonio & The Surin Phuket Team
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Xena1405
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 14 February 2012

My husband, son and I stayed for nearly three weeks from 12 Jan. Antonio and his staff were friendly and superbly professional all throughout our stay. It truly broke our hearts to leave and we hope to return next year.

The renovations have made a great difference to the cottages and the hotel generally. There were a few connectivity problems with TV & WIFI but response was rapid from the maintenance staff.

The location is still amazing and the whole resort is very relaxing.

Thanks again to everyone at The Surin for a great stay.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Xena1405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GMTHESURINPHUKET, General Manager at The Surin Phuket, responded to this review, 15 February 2012
Dear Xena & family,

We would like to thank you for staying with us this year and look forward to welcoming you back soon to The Surin Phuket.

Warm regards,

Antonio & The Surin team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Surin Phuket

Property: The Surin Phuket
Address: 118 Moo 3, Choeng Thale, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone Number:
Region: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Choeng Thale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Choeng Thale
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Choeng Thale
#1 Spa Hotel in Choeng Thale
#2 Luxury Hotel in Choeng Thale
#6 Romantic Hotel in Choeng Thale
#8 Family Hotel in Choeng Thale
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Surin Phuket 5*
Number of rooms: 103
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Surin Phuket is an exclusive beach retreat for discerning travelers, families and couples seeking relaxation and indulgence in a serene beachfront setting. A member of Design Hotels™ and located on the tranquil Pansea Beach on the west coast of Phuket Island, Thailand.Offering a total of 103 hillside and beachfront cottages and suites all discreetly built into a carefully conserved landscape amidst coconut trees and gently sloping down to meet a small coral reef. The Surin, Phuket offers a contemporary Thai experience in timeless simplicity and modern sophistication. Shaded by a canopy of coconut trees and joined together by a network of jungle walkways the Hillside Cottages are just the things for guests who wish to experience a tropical rustic experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Surin Phuket Hotel Thalang
Chedi Phuket Hotel Thalang
Chedi Phuket Thalang
Chedi Hotel Phuket
The Surin Phuket Thailand

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